Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mini Review: Half the Blood of Brooklyn by Charlie Huston

One goal I have with this blog is to write a review for each relevant book I read. However, sometimes I just don’t have it in me to write a full review. Sometimes it’s because I simply don’t have anything to say, sometimes it’s because the book is in a series and it’s hard to say something I haven’t already, sometimes I simply get behind on writing reviews, and sometimes it’s a combination of all of the above plus life throwing in a solid punch in the gut.

Half the Blood of Brooklyn by Charlie Huston (Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound) is the third book in his Joe Pitt series, which are about a rogue vampire who is a private detective of sorts in the underground of New York. These books are good, fun, short and fast reads written with a unique style uncommon in the SFF genre (it’s a style much more common in mysteries and crime fiction) that stands apart from much of the urban fantasy-horror-vampire books that populate the shelves these days. The books are dark, blunt, and aimed for a mature audience. While there is an over-arching plot through the series, each books stands on its own plot arc.

In Half the Blood of Brooklyn, Pitt ventures beyond his usual haunt of Manhattan to Brooklyn where he meets with a new clan and gets particularly nasty. I read this while in the hospital where it provided an idea escape from the boredom, stress, worry, anxiety, and all the other mixed emotions I felt watching over my daughter. While Half the Blood of Brooklyn was a great book for the moment, I felt it was a bit lacking compared to some of the other books in the series, in spite of a few key moments that have been long anticipated. I think this is mainly because things felt a bit rushed. 7/10

Below is an excerpt from my review of Already Dead (Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound) which sums things up rather nicely.

Charlie Huston ... takes the prototypical hard-boiled, noir detective template and injects it into a world of vampires. The result is not the Buffy-inspired urban fantasy romp that dominates the fantasy market these days, but a true noir detective tale that happens to star a vampire struggling for independence in clan dominated underworld.

This classic noir story with … a hard-ass, flawed, moralistic rogue vampire proves to be a fast-paced, engaging read that I very much enjoyed.

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